Author Tom Clancy Dead at 66
Writer Tom Clancy died this past October 1st at a hospital in his hometown of Baltimore. His death followed a brief illness caused by an as yet undisclosed medical condition. Clancy had become the American answer to England’s Ian Flemming, creator of MI6’s secret agent James Bond. Clancy achieved fame as the author of a series of espionage and military novels, many of them starring CIA agent John Patrick Ryan, Sr., better known as Jack Ryan (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, Debt of Honor, Executive Orders, and Red Rabbit).
Similar to Flemming’s most famous character, Clancy’s Ryan went on to star in other media, portrayed by actors such as Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. Jack Ryan only wanted to serve his country as a CIA agent, but ended up unwittingly becoming the President of the United States. This parallels Clancy’s own career. All he wanted was to write a book good enough to be cataloged in the Library of Congress. In the end, his name became a brand associated with books, films, and videogames. In addition, he was Vice Chairman of Community Activities and Public Affairs, and part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles.
Tom Clancy was known for its detailed plots and story lines, as well as his use of settings all over the world. For example, Patriot Games took its protagonists to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a teaching hospital with top-notch staff and state-of-the-art medical supplies. Moreover, Clancy also wrote non-fiction books about military subjects. He co-founded Red Storm Entertainment as well, a platform to adapt his novels into videogames. Notable games based on or inspired by Clancy’s work include the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series.
Clancy hit many milestones during his illustrious career, including an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an honorary Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London title, and the Navy League of the United States’ Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement. Furthermore, Clancy was one of three writers to sell 2 million copies of a first printing during the 90’s, and Clear and Present Danger was the top selling novel of the 80’s. Clancy graduated from Loyola College in 1969, the same year he married first wife Wanda. He is survived by second wife Alexandra Marie Llewellyn.